SIMMONS: D.C.’s incentive for teachers to live in city is a good idea

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Why, lost revenue, of course.

“The revenue loss would make it harder to make public investments in things like libraries, roads and parks that enhance the quality of life in the District and are critical to attracting and retaining residents,” Mr. Lazere stated in his 2005 public testimony.

Still later, he played the 1 percent card, saying that he “would hope that tax relief would address the regressive features of our tax system and would target relief to address pressing needs. The District could consider, for example, revising its outdated property tax credit for low-income residents or expanding the D.C. [Earned Income Tax Credit].”

C’mon, man.

Liberals, progressives and socialists want you to think any hardworking family with a six-figure salary ought to pay higher taxes.

Never mind that there’s never a plea for government to cut spending.

Never mind that those families are paying college tuitions; living in nickel-and-dime-‘em D.C.; and have rents, mortgages, car notes and other high cost-of-living rates to pay.

Never mind that teachers who live where they work would add to the D.C. tax rolls in other ways.

Sure, the tax break will cost.

In fact, in 2005, the District’s chief financial officer estimated that a tax break for teachers would have cost an estimated $8.5 million in 2005 and $9.5 million three years later.

The District is hardly flush with cash, but giving schoolteachers a cash incentive to live in the city is a smart approach to bolstering tax rolls — and gives educators a vested interest inside and outside the classroom.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at

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About the Author
Deborah Simmons

Deborah Simmons

Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of ...

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